Frank Lima

F
Frank Lima
Eternity
in the beginning
there was no end

the ground we
walked on was
a memory

our shadows
false stories

our clothing
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34
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Haiku
For Frank O'Hara I
The lights are out
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44
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Inventory—To 100th Street
To John Bernard Myers
In the corner lot
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32
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Orfeo
To my friends Each hair is a poem I gave my son
Each hair is my allowance from the universe
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37
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Plena
During the day I play at drowning
looking for the smoke
of eyelashes and faded hair
the lilac shadows of blood
and the ruins of coffee
but a night
I dream of the last syllable
in my mother's heart
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29
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Questions and Answers
My angel, don't think the great stillness is wooing us:
We just haven't slept the same among the letters that have a habit of
Recognizing us. Those beautiful letters live in Paris all year around.
For even the best of men go astray with words within the gentle depths

When they are to express something unutterable.
But I believe nevertheless that you need not be left without them as a
Part of me, as a recreation between hesitations,
The boundless ones in moments of doubts.
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Summer    (a love poem)
I wanted to be sure this was our island
so we could walk between the long stars by the sea
though your hips are slight and caught in the air
like a moth at the end of a river around my arms
I am unable to understand the sun your dizzy spells
when you form a hand around me on the sand

I offer you my terrible sanity
the eternal voice that keeps me from reaching you
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This Is a Poem About My Life
the grapes
remind me of the whales
gathering salt for the ocean

this is a poem about my life

you've interrupted
my life and death schedule
which gives me that poetic look each day

this is a poem about my life
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35
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Bright Blue Self-Portrait
I thank the spiders’ webs and the circus dancers who stain our eyes with
Rapid movements and authorize our handcuffs to make no distinction
Between night and day or love and hate.
No one will know the sum of our arduous daily separations from bed to

Work. These pillars actually belong to you since I have not counted them
Or know any more than you do where they are or in what country they
Still exist. We can put all our concerns into a loaf of bread and French
Kisses, go to movies and watch the splashing milk on the screen imitate

the forest in the moonlight. Why all the fuss about the patrons becoming
Feathers, discharging their ideas of nobility on the evening news? There
Are no lights in the theater just soft snow from the balcony that is the
Little red schoolhouse where all this began.

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27
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Byron
I put my hand
Into the dream
That falls upon
The air. It
Touches me a little,
But I don’t complain.
I’m almost asleep
When I get there.
Where Byron
Lost the scent of his
Life, over there,
Where the dreams are.
It’s always
Hot, like
The eyes of the
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Epicedium to Potter’s Field
My father was
A blossom,
And I was his fragile
Epiphyte on his
Days off.
The purple
Dogs of years
Gone by
Watch him smile
At the horizon.
His feretory
Catches the
Rain from the
Smoldering sky.
These fields are
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Felonies and Arias of the Heart
I need more time, a simple day in Paris hotels and window shopping.
The croissants will not bake themselves and the Tower of London would
Like to spend a night in the tropics with gray sassy paint. It has many
Wounds and historic serial dreams under contract to Hollywood.
Who will play the head of Mary, Queen of Scots, and who will braid her

Hair? Was it she who left her lips on the block for the executioner,
Whose hands would never find ablution, who would never touch a woman
Again or eat the flesh of a red animal? Blood pudding would repulse him
Until joining Anne. That is the way of history written for Marlow and
Shakespear. They are with us now that we are sober and wiser,

Not taking the horrors of poetry too seriously. Why am I telling you this
Nonsense, when I have never seen you sip your coffee or tea,
In the morning? Not to mention,
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Heckyll & Jeckyll
Crows see us as another invention.
Like summer and beauty,
They shimmer at sunrise in their new cars,
Change their names and color when they see us.
When they fly, they’re the bite marks on the sun,
And nail-scratches of black against the sky.
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Incidents of Travel in Poetry
Happy Birthday Kenneth Koch/Feb 27 We went to all those places where they restore sadness and joy
and call it art. We were piloted by Auden who became
Unbearably acrimonious when we dropped off Senghor into the
steamy skies of his beloved West Africa. The termites and ants
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40
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Juarez
These empty words are so remote. They are stories someone wants
To believe at the end of the century. Everyone gathers their sea of telluric
Pain to greet the beginning of the new world.

Cars stop and watch the deck chairs limp across the street to await
The coming of the new year. It is the end of summer and autumn and
Winters and springs, and panzer infatuation.

After four hundred eighty-one years, I cannot pull out the Spanish arrow
In my eye. Suddenly everything I knew was inhuman:
The oceans, the tadpoles in their new cars. The clams became
Cheerleaders. The palm trees, strippers, and everyone forgot,
Deer are the shapes of God.

His official language became Latin, when he ceased to be a Jew,
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